Structured development taking shape in Mpumalanga

Over the years, the country has been subjected to skewed planning patterns and inept service delivery designed along racial lines.

The advent of democracy in 1994 ushered a people centered legislations and government’s developmental programmes aimed at ensuring that the welfare of communities is improved – and in the process – deal with the three social ills of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The much needed and directed planning is premised along the country’s development blue-print, the National Development Plan (NDP).

The NDP emphasises the ideals of the South African Constitution that mandates the Department of Human Settlements to provide adequate housing and integrated human settlements to eligible beneficiaries. Section 26 of the Constitution emphasises the significance of the Department in providing suitable and decent housing and development of sustainable integrated human settlements.

The NDP further instructs the Department to facilitate coordinated planning towards the realisation of cutting-edge development. The outcome prone plan ties the Department to realise sustainable integrated human settlements and improved quality of household lives. When the country ushered in the new order (democracy), a number of legislations were promulgated to benefit all, but mainly the previously disadvantaged.

Such legislations included the provision of government subsidised houses to needy and qualifying beneficiaries. The delivery of such houses – often referred to – as RDPs has seen many households receiving decent shelter. In his address at the recently held Govan Mbeki Awards (GMA) ceremony, MEC Speed Mashilo charged that “at the beginning of our democracy, a Reconstruction and Development Programme, popularly known as the RDP, was introduced.

The RDP which is an integrated, coherent socio-economic policy framework was seeking to mobilize all the people and our country’s resources towards the final eradication of apartheid and building of a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist future.”

The GMA were initiated in 2006 to encourage and showcase excellence, best practices and recognise exceptional performance in the human settlements delivery value chain. They first started as the Housing Awards under the then Department of Housing which mainly focused on delivering units as opposed to integrated sustainable human settlements.

Sequel to the expansion of the mandate (2009), the Department has since been assigned to facilitate the creation of sustainable integrated human settlements – a mission which is in bursting swing and taking contour. The advent of the broadened mandate focuses in delivering services in an intelligible and comprehensive manner.

As strides are being made towards the realization of the order, the Department and stakeholders continue to improve on the foundation enunciated in the Freedom Charter, the White Paper on Housing, the Housing Act and the Comprehensive Plan for the creation of sustainable human settlements.

True to its objectives (GMA), several stakeholders within the sector were honoured during the recent awards ceremony at eMalahleni Local Municipality. They were named after Mr Govan Mbeki -a stalwart member of the ruling party, African National Congress (ANC). Affectionately known as ‘Oom Gov’, he dedicated his life to the improvement and development of all South Africans.

It would appear that he envisaged the proper development the government is pushing for – much to the benefit of communities. It is therefore befitting that Oom Gov’s convictions appear to resonate well with proper and sustainable development we see throughout the province – courtesy of the Department of Human Settlements and partners within the sector. Once again, congratulations to all the participants and winners of the GMA 2017.

*Mr Freddy Ngobe is the Head of Communication Services in the Department of Human Settlements.

GMA 2017 WINNERS

The overall winners in the Competing Categories:

Baphi Investment
Best Informal Settlements Upgrading Project

Shirdo Trading
Best Integrated Residential Development Programme

KD Madonsela Trading and Projects
Best Rural Housing Project

LLG Projects
Best Non-Subsidy Market Contractor

DR Bongani Investment
Best Established Women Contractor

Asishiyelane Supply
Best Youth Emerging Contractor

Prince of Tides
Best Community Residential Units (CRU)

Umziwethu Holdings
Best Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP)

Govan Mbeki Local Municipality
Best Accredited Municipality Level 1

Steve Tshwete Local Municipality
Best Accredited Municipality Level 2

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